Jaguar boosts Solihull plant with 800 new jobs

Luxury car-maker bucks sector's moribund  trend as it responds to  international demand

Jaguar Land Rover will give the British carmaking industry a much-needed boost today, as the luxury motor manufacturer announces 800 new jobs at its factory in Solihull.

Just two days after Honda sent shockwaves through the UK car industry by announcing 800 job cuts in Swindon, Jaguar Land Rover said demand for its luxury vehicles from countries such as China, the US and Russia was now so strong that it would be recruiting additional staff.

The Solihull plant employs and makes the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender models. It has been making vehicles since 1948.

The group revealed plans to beef up its Solihull plant as it reported a 30 per cent surge in global sales to a record 357,773 vehicles for last year.

China became the group's biggest market last year, overtaking the UK after sales to the country soared by 71 per cent to 71,940 vehicles. The UK came next, with sales increasing 19 per cent to a record 68,333, followed by the US, up 11 per cent at 55,675. Sales to Russia and Germany increased by 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Speaking as the Detroit motor show kicked off, Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover's director of group sales, said: "2012 has been a strong year… Looking ahead to 2013, we are continuing to invest in our business to support our ambitious plans for growth and we will be introducing eight new or refreshed products throughout the year."

The new jobs continue a remarkable turnaround at Jaguar Land Rover since India's Tata motors bought the company from Ford in 2008 for £1.1bn.

At that point the company was struggling as the credit crisis had hit sales hard and it was making about 100,000 cars a year.

However, Tata injected cash into the business and sales rebounded. The company is now two years into a five-year expansion plan with a target of making 600,000 sales a year. The expansion plans include the launch of a sporty new Range Rover, which is expected to be unveiled in April.

They demonstrate that demand for luxury products is holding up well, especially in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and Russia.

It will come as a sharp relief to Britain's car industry after the more mainstream car-maker, Honda, announced a further 800 job losses at its Swindon plant on Friday, blaming weak demand across Europe.

This was the first time Honda has cut its workforce at the plant – which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models – since it came to the UK in 1992. The redundancies raised fears there could be more job losses on the cards in the mainstream UK vehicle-making industry, with demand in Europe's beleaguered car industry at its weakest for nearly two decades and the market showing little sign of recovery.

Earlier this month, GM – which owns UK-based Vauxhall – shocked the industry when it forecast that European care sales will weaken further this year. The UK exports 82 per cent of the cars it makes, of which about half go to Europe.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living